Phil is one of the most sought after speakers in the food, retail and consumer world! He knows how to take complex issues and explain them perfectly so they are understood and people can act upon the information. Phil has been analyzing consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape for over 25 years and has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru® , Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions.
Find out how Phil prepares for speeches and public speaking opportunities and some of his top tips.
Phil, you are so fantastic at public speaking, is this something that was always natural for you or a skill that you practiced?
Actually a little of both. My dad was a terrific speaker and salesman and I learned a lot about what audiences wanted from listening to him give presentations. Also most valuable is that he taught me how to "listen" which is the first step to speaking well!
Is there a checklist that you follow before you give a speech? Or a tool you can recommend to help RDs prepare.
No. But I do my homework. I find out as much as I can about the audience or the company I am presenting to. For TV appearances there is never too much preparation - especially for live TV where a reporter can shoot you an unexpected question. Topline? Know your stuff backwards and forwards.
Are there certain must “haves” or must “dos” for a presentation?
Yes, build a relationship with the people in the room. Relate to them on a personal level and do everything you can to talk their language and make them like you.
What are some lessons you have learned about public speaking over the years?
EVERY audience is different - with very different needs. Talk to the people who are planning your session up front - and I mean weeks before - so that you know exactly what they want. You could be a great speaker, but if they wanted to hear you talk about heart disease and you talk about gluten-free you've bombed.
If a dietitian is new at public speaking and a little apprehensive, what are some things she can do to bolster her confidence?
First talk to your self in front of a mirror. The whole speech! See what others see. Are your hands fidgeting? Are you sweating. The first step is to become comfortable with yourself and develop you own style. Don't try to copy Malcolm Gladwell or Hilary Clinton's speaking style it just won't come off as genuine. And forget the "jokes" - leave those to the professional comedians who know how to deliver laughs. Always use your own stuff! Never use anyone else’s thoughts, quotes or ideas without giving them the proper credit during your presentation.
Is there a difference between talking to a group of 15 or 150?
Nope - not even the biggest group I ever addressed which was over 6,000. Look into the audience and find a dozen faces that make you smile and talk directly to them and everyone will think they have a relationship with you.
How is TV different from giving a speech or lecture?
Live TV is immediate - segments these days are 3-5 minutes - in a speech you have an hour to get your points absorbed. Be quick, personable and real. Viewers make up their minds in 30 seconds if they are going to like you and listen.